Day 112 – Deli Blazing

The trash pandas did not return for the remainder of the evening as far as I’m aware. My puffy saved the day again in the form of a makeshift eye mask. It allowed me to get a few more winks in that morning. Breakfast again was consumed tent side (inside to be exact, mosquitoes are still an omnipresent danger).

I was packed up and hiking by 8AM, out before the Rabbit even! The first 5 miles went fairly quickly. The trail is once again resembling an actual trail (you know the kind where dirt outnumbers the rocks). The hills the last few days have continued but they are enjoyable hills to hike. The challenge and joy of cresting a good hill is unmatched.

I passed by a phone booth in the middle of the trail. It’s called the “telephone of the wind” and is a replica of its original in Japan. The purpose is to leave a message to communicate with those you grieve for. There is a similar bank of telephones at a place in San Antonio called “Hopscotch.” I didn’t leave a message but I said a little prayer for my grandmother who passed away last year.

By 10AM we had arrived at Canopus Lake Beach. During the day they have a concessions stand that sells the most amazing bacon cheeseburgers on a pretzel bun you’ve ever had. I had 2! They also have bathrooms with showers. The showers had one temperature and that temperature was cold. Lucky for me I enjoy a cold shower every now and again.

I’ve had a few comments on here of late remarking that eating at a restaurant or sleeping in a bed on trail is not “grueling” enough for them. Hiking 2198 miles is grueling enough, so anything outside of hiking all those miles is fair game to me. Adrienne Hall from her book, A Journey North, put it best when she said:

There really is no correct way to hike the trail, and anyone who insists that there is, ought not to worry so much about other people’s experiences. Hikers need to hike the trail that’s right for them…

We did 10 more miles and stopped at Corrado Pizzeria and Deli. It’s just off trail and they let you camp in the green space behind the building. Rabbit and I split a plate of wings and I also had a calzone and a slice of pistachio cake.

Hydration packets, candy/protein bars and ramen only go so far on the trail. Nearly every hiker lives for days like these, evident by the 7 other tents posted up behind the deli as I write this. Also this far into a thru-hike, your body needs the calories and if we’re quite frank about it, you’ve earned it!

Trolls are gonna troll. I’m out here putting in the work and am not a faceless screen-name behind a computer. So I’ll continue to “Deli Blaze” all the way up to fucking Maine if I want to. If you disagree with my methods, hike your own hike (if you dare).

Stow away in my pack for day 113 of the Appalachian Trail.

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Comments 15

  • Jim : Aug 5th

    Enjoy following your adventures – I have a plan to attempt the AT post retirement in 3 years. I like your “hike your own hike” attitude and admire your determination.
    Safe travels!

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 6th

      Thanks for following Jim. Happy trails in 3 years!!

  • thetentman : Aug 5th


    You are on a vacation. Eat what and where ever you want.

    I loved the pic. No Parents No Horses No Bedtime! Also a great book by Tucker Atwood. A very funny chronicle of his 2019 Thru-hike. Read it.

    Bacon cheeseburgers are the best when you are hiking. Beer too.


    • Derek Witteman : Aug 6th

      Nice, I’ll add it to the list once I get through these Red Rising books

  • Lynn Benedict : Aug 5th

    Enjoy your posts. Your trip is yours and no one else’s. I live in Lewisburg WV..
    Think you went to the O school?

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 6th

      I did! I would have loved to take a side trek to visit to see Lewisburg. I miss that place

  • Lisa : Aug 6th

    I love your posts…..hit every damn deli and air conditioned bed that suits you while logging those 2198 miles

  • Wanda Hale : Aug 6th

    Some people complain about everything, even things that don’t concern them. It is your hike, your blog, your memories, and you should hike it the way that is most enjoyable and meaningful to you. Happy hiking.

  • Flash : Aug 6th

    If I was on the AT right now I would want to do what you are doing- HAVING A BLAST! Haters, back off.

  • Tom : Aug 6th

    Been reading your posts since day one. Always a great read and you’re whole attitude on the trail is awesome. You hike your hike, and screw those who think otherwise.

  • CB : Aug 6th

    HA! We’ll mark you down as undecided on how you feel about troll-douche! I’m hoping Rabbit ate some highly caloric something, too. Hike on!

  • Richard : Aug 6th

    Yum that pistachio cake looks good! I’ve been following your posts for most of the summer and enjoy them.

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 6th

      It was phenomenal! Thanks for following along

  • Dan McQuiston : Aug 6th

    We read about your adventures because you’re doing something that we wish we could do. Social media seems to entitle people to be faceless and criticize anything. Keep up the good work and the rest of us will enjoy the hike thru your eyes and writing.

  • Jeff Greene : Aug 8th

    I’m an avid day hiker and occasional weekend backpacker, and the idea that you can hit real restaurants and markets and hotels every few days is the only thing that makes the AT seem remotely approachable to me (unlike the PCT, which I live closest to). Celebrate every section that ends in a real meal!


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